English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Early-attested site in the Parish of North Coates

Historical Forms

  • Haven 1842 TA
  • portum de Nortcotes 1275,1276 RH
  • del Hauen 1303 Anc
  • atte Hauen 1311 1323 LMR
  • le hauen 1312 Anc
  • Le Hauen 1327 SR
  • la Hafne, atte Hafne 1332 ib
  • at Hauen 1338,1348 Anc
  • the Haven 1692 Em
  • the Old Haven 1702 1710 Foster
  • clootam vocat abgristgote 1411 LMR
  • coēm sewer voc' abgrift 1416 LMR
  • Waterladd vocat' abgrist 1415 LMR


HAVEN, Haven 1842TA , portum de Nortcotes 1275, 1276 RH, del Hauen 1303Anc (p), atte Hauen 1311 ib (p), 1323LMR (p), le hauen 1312Anc , Le Hauen 1327SR (p), la Hafne , atte Hafne 1332ib (p), at Hauen 1338, 1348Anc both (p), the Haven 1692Em , the Old Haven 1702ib , 1710Foster , v. hafn 'a haven, a harbour'. An alternative name seems to have been clootam vocat abgristgote 1411LMR (v. gotu 'a sluice' and ME  clote described in PN C 315–16 as “a fenland term, apparently something to do with draining and barring waters. Its history is obscure”), coēm sewer voc ' abgrift 1416LMR , Waterladd vocat ' abgrist 1415LMR (for Waterladd , v. Waterland Drain in Marsh Chapel supra ), sewer apud Habgrift 1438Anc , in portu ... voc ' abgriste apud North 'cotes 1451–53MinAcct , in portu voc ' Agrest 1496–98MinAcct , port ' vocat ' Halgriste 1523–24MinAcct , port ' vocat ' Halligriste 1608MinAcct , Haggrest hauen , Haggriste Crike 1609DuLaMB (v. crike (ON  kriki)). It is very difficult often to distinguish between s and f in medieval documents and the forms in MinAcct and DuLaMB have all been read as s , though it should be pointed out that five of the six spellings from these sources appear to be corrupt. At least two of the four 15th century forms from Anc and LMR certainly read -grift and there can be little doubt that this is the “correct” form. It is derived from dial. grift , a word recorded in EDD s.v. only from north L and said there to mean 'a channel shaped out by water for itself, a runnel', for which v. Griff Lane in Fulstowsupra , where forms from the early 15th century are given. Though Abgrift is recorded late, it may be suggested that the first el. is the OE  pers.n. Abba or ODan  Abbi (Feilitzen 140, s.n. Abba ). An Abo whose name must be derived from one of these is recorded in DB TRE in Osgodby PN L 3, 52–53.